Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Prayers for the Nation

As we approach the appointed National Day of Prayer, it seems salutary to offer a few of Luther’s prayers. The prayers offered below can be found in Luther’s Prayers, published by Augsburg Fortress. This delightful little book of prayers by Dr. Luther has been reprinted in a paperback edition. The least expensive source appears to be to purchase it online at Luther’s Prayers. It really is a wonderful prayer book, including instructions on effective prayer.

I share with you below a sampling for this day of prayer for home and nation.

Page 48

(On the Fourth Commandment)

I thank you, my bountiful and gracious Creator, in behalf of myself and all the world. In this commandment you have established and secured the reproduction and the preservation of the human race, in home and nation. Without these two institutions the world could not endure for one year, for without earthly rulers there is no peace. Where there is no peace there can be no home. Where there is no home, the protecting care of father and mother will completely stop, and children will not be properly born and raised. In this commandment you do support and protect both home and nation and do require obedience on the part of children and citizens. You also provide that this must be done; and where it is not done, you will not permit us to go unpunished. If it were otherwise, children would long ago have broken up the home through disobedience, and citizens by their rebellion would have destroyed the nation, for they far outnumber parents and rulers. Therefore this protection is a blessing beyond words. Amen.

Page 49

I pray to you in behalf of myself and all the world, grant your grace, and richly pour your blessing upon the home and the state. Help us from now on to obey our rulers, to resist the devil, and to refuse to follow as he tempts us to disobey and to fight. Enable us buy our deeds to improve our homes and nation and to preserve peace for your praise and glory, for our own benefit, and for furthering everything that is good. Grant that we may acknowledge these gifts and give you thanks for them. Amen.

Also give parents, employers, and rulers the wisdom and understanding to provide well and to rule peaceably. Guard them against tyranny, rage, and anger, and guard them from these wrongs. Help them to honor your word and not persecute or injure anyone. For where these principles are not put into practice, the devil is in charge, and his rule is wicked and destructive. Amen.

Page 84

Dear God, give us peaceful hearts and a right courage in the confusion and strife against the devil. And so may we not only endure and finally triumph, but also have peace in the midst of the struggle. May we praise and thank you and not complain or become impatient against your divine will. Let peace win the victory in our hearts, that we may never through impatience initiate anything against you, our God, and our fellow men. May we remain quiet and peaceable toward God and man, both inwardly and outwardly, until the final and eternal peace shall come. Amen.

Page 99-102

Dear Lord, graciously protect the crops in the fields. Cleanse the air; give refreshing rain and favorable weather that there may be a good harvest. Preserve the fruits from being polluted, so that man and beast which eat and drink them may be protected from epidemic, fever, and other diseases. If you permit the forces of evil to contaminate the air and its fruits, the corn and the wine, then men must eat and drink sickness and death with their own food. Therefore, dear God, bless your gifts so that they may be wholesome and delightful to us. May we not use them to injure the soul or to increase sin, intemperance, and idleness. From these come unchastity, adultery, cursing, swearing, murder, war, and all misery. But give us grace to use your gifts to the saving of our souls and to the betterment of our lives. Thus may the fruits of the earth serve to maintain and improve the health of both body and soul. Amen.

O Lord, come to me and use my bread, silver, and gold. How very well they are spent if I spend them in your service. Amen.

Dear God, why should I be anxious and worry about my body and its food? How do you raise up the grain on the field and all the fruits? The world with all its wisdom and power is not able to make a stalk, a tiny leaf, or flower. In you I have a Lord who can multiply one loaf as much as he pleases, without the aid of a farmer, a miller, or a baker. As you do this day by day, why should I worry whether you can or will supply my bodily needs!

Dear Lord, I know that you own even more and have more in storage, than you have given away. In you I shall not want. If need be, the heavens indeed would pour down a supply for our need. You will never fail me. You make me rich. If I have you, I have all I want. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, we pray in the name of your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. First, send a spiritual kingdom and a blessed gospel ministry. Give us devout and faithful preachers who communicate the wealth of your divine word in truth and clarity. Graciously guard us against divisions and heresies. Do not focus on our ingratitude, by which we have long deserved that you take your word away from us. Do not punish us as severely as we deserve. Rather let harm come to us, but do not deprive us of your precious word. Again we ask you to give us thankful hearts that we may love your holy word, prize it highly, hear it reverently, and improve our lives accordingly. And so may we not only understand your word rightly but also meet its demands by our deeds. May we live in accordance with it and day by day increase in good works. Thereby may your name be hallowed, your kingdom come, and your will be done. Amen.

May we commend to you all who rule and have authority throughout all Christendom. Enlighten their hearts by your word and your Holy Spirit, so that your word and glory may be upheld by them and not hindered. And so may we lead a quiet and peaceable life among them by being godly and honest. Amen.

Also give our ruler success over enemies. Remember your grace and mercy and preserve us from falling into the hands of any tyrant. Also guard our ruler against the devil and evil doctrine. Amen.

We pray especially for the government under whose care and protection you have called us. Bless it with success and prosperity. May the word of God, decency, and all honesty be advanced; may all of the offense of which there is so much be prevented; and may the common welfare be properly and peaceably provided. Make us obedient and devout. Amen.

Dear God, I know that my prayer spoken in the name of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, is indeed pleasing to you. It will most surely be heard. Amen. Amen.

Luther's Prayers copyright (c) 1967 Augsburg Publishing House. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Augsburg Fortress.

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Anonymous said...

Too bad they won't ship overseas. Seems to be the norm.

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

How about Amazon.com? I see that they it for $9.64, and used copies for less.

They have international shipping. I also notice that they have a special offer for International Direct. Perhaps one of these is an option.